Archive for the religion Category

Checking Up On “Facts” Part II: The War On Christmas

Posted in politics, public notices, religion, society and culture on December 24, 2008 by countryjim13

war-on-christmas(source)
Here is a link to a great article by Michelle Goldberg on Salon.com about the extreme right’s attempt to actually create a liberal, secular, humanist war on Christmas as a way of acting like they are playing defense in America’s culture war when in reality they are on the offensive against seperation of church and state, pluralism, humanism, and cultural diversity and tolerance in general.  I highly recommend reading the article as means of fact checking this supposed “war on Christmas” that we’ve become all too familiar with thanks to conservative pundits such Bill O’Riley and a gang of preachers using their pulpit in this culture war as means of salvaging a small vestige of whatever political power the church may still have in the face of an increasingly liberal minded nation and the decreasingly weakened voting power of the religious right.  These preachers and pundits are using their made up war on Christmas to rally their troops in a culture war that is becoming increasingly heated  as it is more and more full of issues which the right <span style=”font-size:x-small;font-family:Verdana
sees it has very little chances of winning and so fights to win all the more ferociously.  If your power to influence real issues is continually on the wane, make up an issue to try and revitalize and energize your base!


http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/11/21/christmas/index.html

Fundamentally Illogical

Posted in just sayin', religion on November 19, 2008 by mightyfag

Before I come off as some kind of atheist who has nothing but contempt for religions, let me clarify that I am an ordained Priest and have a Doctorate in Divinity as part of my training in my religion. I have great respect for religions around the globe including those that I do not ascribe to personally. I do, however, have a problem with fundamentalist evangelicals who feel the obligation and NEED to push their beliefs on others, and even worse, inject their personal religious practices into coded law.

To these folks I want to say one thing. When you use theological or dogmatic justifications for a discussion about politics and civil rights you are invalidating any and all arguments you might have made, no matter how eloquently you stated them. Discussion around a topic requires ground rules that define the forum in which it is taking place. In the forum of politics, the ground rules are the laws of the land – the Constitution. In discussions about faith, the ground rules are the particular tenets of that religion.

The discussion about Proposition 8, while it may appear to be about your own spiritual beliefs, is not a discussion around your religion or its practices, it is a discussion about laws and the rights of individuals protected thereby. If you use theological arguments to justify your position, you are no longer operating within the field of play and your points are moot.

Take for example, this (pdf format) fundamentalist theopolitical garbage. It is a letter to the Chief Justice on the California Supreme Court by the Kingdom of Heaven – World Divine Mission. In this letter that they have submitted on behalf of the “Almighty Eternal Creator” (a fictional character in LEGAL terms) they manage to string together biblical passages, fundamentalist illogic and legal terms to justify the taking away of a minority’s rights. In this case, it is against gay and lesbian couples’ right to marry – with a side note against abortion.

Using the same forum of rules they have set up, the Supreme Court of California should also rule to outlaw divorce (Matthew 19:6), having sex with a woman while she is on her period (Leviticus 20:18), the consumption of shrimp and other shellfish (Levitius 11: 9-12), cotton-poly blends and other mixed fibers (Leviticus 19:19), eating of pork (Leviticus 11:7), and they should reinstitute slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46). All of these are positions upheld in the bible which according to the pdf linked above is the law of the “Almighty Eternal Creator” and therefore rules over politicians and the laws they make.

To quote a good friend of mine, Jeff, “No More Jewish Fairy Tales!” Get your religion out of the state and get the state out of religion. That’s the way this country was established and the courts have upheld that view time and time again. The government doesn’t have a right to tell you how to practice our faiths and the churches don’t have a right to tell us how to draft, implement and uphold our laws. Period. End. Of. Story.

Restore My Fundamental Right to Marry

Posted in politics, religion with tags on November 11, 2008 by mightyfag

On May 16, 2008 the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex couples throughout the state recognizing our fundamental right to marriage.

“Our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation,” Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote for the majority opinion. “An individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.” (Source)

This essentially classified sexual orientation as a categorization that could NOT be used to treat people differently. When he was interviewed, Chief Justice George said that his past experience of witnessing segregation in the south when his family first came to this country, and the impression it made on him as a child, came to his mind in how same-sex couples were being treated.

Along comes the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, and the Knights of Columbus along with other organizations and churches including Saddleback Community Church of Orange County, CA. They decide that they want to put individual’s civil rights up for the vote by the majority. They draft Proposition 8, a voter initiative to amend the state constitution that simply states:

Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

The Proposition passed by a narrow 3% majority, thus eliminating the right for same-sex couples to marry. There is one problem, however. In California, Constitutional Amendments passed by a voter initiative need to be reviewed by the State Legislature first, which didn’t happen. Right now, three lawsuits are filed against the passage of Proposition 8, and the future of same-sex couples is currently in limbo – not to mention the status of those who wed during the time it was legal.

Simply put, the mob majority stripped my partner and I of our right to marry – an INALIENABLE right guaranteed to us by the State Constitution. The arguments against gay marriage range everywhere from religious arguments, to “what about the children” to the ridiculous “my church will lose its tax-exemption if it refuses to wed gay couples!”

To this I reply on simple word: “Bullshit.” First off, the court ruled in our favor to give us same-sex marriage BECAUSE they were looking out for the children of same-sex couples (approximately 25% of gay couples have kids according to the latest census.) Religious arguments are invalid in legal issues – we have a clear separation of church and state in this country. That same separation is what protects churches from losing tax-exemption if they turn away a gay couple from being wed. Anyone who comes from a mixed-faith couple who tries to wed in the Catholic Church knows all too well that the church can refuse to marry anyone without repercussion; so that shoots that ridiculous argument out of the water.

What it all boils down to is the fact that homophobic people in the state decided to throw gay couples under the bus and keep them marginalized and dehumanized by stripping them of their rights. The protest signs seen everywhere across the state speak the truth:

Examine your own homophobia. Keep your church out of the state. Practice whatever faith you believe in, but don’t oppress others with it. And give me back my FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to marry!